Thursday, September 06, 2007

Traditional MMORPG Progression

In a traditional MMORPG, the player is expected to put some inputs in the system. First, you usually give some cash; sometimes more, if the game allows real money trade for in-game resources(Or if it has a black market). Then you give time. Time is the primary input resource of an MMORPG; you input time, and the game outputs progression. Better knowledge of the game means you can output more progression for the same amount of time, but in the end, it's still the same time => progression graph.

In any other type of game, where there is an ending, progression means much less. Nobody will care that you have collected all the sparkles of power once you've defeated the final boss. Your progression becomes meaningless once you have uninstalled the game, so the developers have to make sure every moment of the game is enjoyable.

In an MMORPG, however, there is typically no ending, meaning that to keep you hooked, the devs have to give you more progression. They will give you harder and harder bosses all the time. After a while, it won't be possible to progress anymore all by yourself, you'll have to team up with more progressers to defeat bigger, nastier bosses to get more progress points. It's always about progress; never about fun. It seems that you can't have fun anymore, because fun doesn't sell.

If you need me, I'll be playing progress quest. Wake me up when there's a progress-less MMORPG out there.

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